Counsel and Co-Chair of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Crisis & Risk Management group, Maryam M. Meseha, filmed a short video addressing the need for heightened diligence regarding your personal data during the COVID-19 outbreak, which you can view below:

. Why? Simply because, this data is oftentimes the most sensitive, and easily identifiable, information we possess and can be accessed without so much of an inkling by the user.

In these novel times, the temptation to access data for the “public good” is on the rise. Last week, the US Government announced it was in active talks with Facebook, Google and wide array of tech companies and health experts about how they can use location data gleaned from Americans’ phones to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.

Analyzing trends in smartphone owners’ whereabouts could prove to be a powerful tool for health authorities looking to track coronavirus, which has infected more than 180,000 people globally. But it’s also an approach that could leave some Americans uncomfortable, depending on how it’s implemented, given the sensitivity when it comes to details of their daily whereabouts.

Time has come to balance privacy concerns with national health concerns. The outcome is yet to be seen but users concerned about their privacy can take active measures to prevent their information from being accessed. One simple solution is to be aware of which applications are installed on your phone and utilize GPS software.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact us at 201-896-4100.